Jan 11 2011

Google eBook Reader

Published by at 6:54 am under Books,General

I don’t have a kindle or an iPad. I have read extended parts of text books and reference books online, but never before read a novel. Decided to try reading a novel and chose Google’s ebook reader for the Mac and for the iPhone. The book was a speculative fiction “Surface Detail” (see prior post) from their ebook store.
What I liked:

  • Easy availability at home or away. Always had the phone so I could ‘pickup the book’ anywhere without having had to plan it or to carry another thing.
  • Easy synchronization between laptop and phone. The applications took care of it.

What I didn’t like so well:

  • Weaker navigation than in a paper book. Harder (slower) to flip back pages to find a detail or look ahead to see how many more pages in this chapter. You can only see two page images at a time on the laptop and less than a ‘page’ on the iPhone.
  • On a computer, the presence of other applications is an invitation to distractions. Harder to get engrossed?
  • Smooth coordination between web and iPhone only works when logged in to google on web.
  • A noticeable transition time (measured in seconds) when switching between devices. Time for them to check the google site for synchronization information. Just picking up a book is quicker restart; but of course you have to have the book in hand.

Overall pretty satisfying but I’m not a convert to eBook readers. I’ll have to try a kindle or iPad sometime. I was positively surprised at how pleasant reading was on the iPhone’s small screen.

One response so far

One Response to “Google eBook Reader”

  1. hdomkeon 12 Jan 2011 at 5:27 am

    I suspect you will prefer the iPad. I’ve been borrowing Lorna’s for the last few months.
    What I like:
    – I can enlarge the font size (easier for my aging eyes)

    – Bright high contrast screen makes it easy to read, even at night with no lights on (great if your partner is asleep next to you).

    – Click on a word and a dictionary is right there.

    – If you are considering buying a book from Amazon or Apple store you can download a free sample.

    What I don’t like:
    – feels heavy

    I hear that a new version of the iPad will be released soon.

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